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Soldiers, Scholars, Diplomats: Educating Strategic Leaders at Foreign Staff Colleges

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Technical Report,01 Jun 2015,26 May 2016

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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This monograph examines the value added to the US Army by sending officers to foreign staff colleges. It argues that the US Army should educate more of its best field grade officers abroad to gain worldly, contextual intelligence. Ultimately, a foreign staff college experience, preceded by the US Armys Command and General Staff College resident course, will develop better strategic thinkers and leaders. In this research, General Albert C. Wedemeyers personal archives at Stanford University provide keen insight into the strategic contribution officers educated abroad can have on national security. Next, a survey of US Army officers who graduated from a foreign staff college in the last ten years confirms several valuable aspects of an overseas education, and identifies areas of the program to improve. Finally, this monograph recommends increasing the available opportunities for US Army officers to attend foreign staff colleges, with a weighted priority in Asia and Europe. It also recommends sending the top 10 percent of each years graduating CGSC class, approximately 100 officers, to foreign language training followed by a foreign staff college education. This benefits the US Army by growing the pool of organizational leaders who can readily contextualize the challenges of a complex world beyond American borders.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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